Man who walked around with his mom's skull appears in court

Bonolo Lesetja /ANTONIO MUCHAVE
Bonolo Lesetja /ANTONIO MUCHAVE

A man who allegedly exhumed his late mother's remains and paraded her skull in the village has appeared in court.

Bonolo Lesetja, 21, showed no emotion as the charge of violating a grave was read out in the Thabamoopo Magistrate's Court in Limpopo yesterday.

He said he understood the charge levelled against him and sought the services of a Legal Aid SA lawyer.

Magistrate Simon Matshaba postponed the matter to March 14 for a possible bail application.

The court heard that the postponement was also to allow police to profile Lesetja. The profile was expected to determine his mental status.

During Lesetja's brief appearance, one of his relatives tried to block this newspaper's photographer from taking pictures. She also took the lensman's picture with her cellphone and was ejected from court by a policeman for causing a disruption.

Lesetja was arrested on Tuesday after residents of Dithabaneng village in Ga-Mphahlele allegedly saw him with the bones and called the police.

Police spokesman Lieutenant-Colonel Moatshe Ngoepe said it emerged during preliminary investigation that the man had apparently gone to the local cemetery in December and begun digging.

He is said to have finally dug up his mother's skeleton in January and taken it home.

"Members of the community noticed him moving around the village carrying a human skull and immediately summoned the police. Police found a full human skeleton in the suspect's house and arrested him."

Ngoepe said they also found cattle bones in the house.

He said their investigation revealed the suspect sometimes carried his mother's skull inside his bag when he went to the shopping centre and bank as he believed it would protect him from danger.

Another relative of Lesetja, who wished to remain anonymous, said he was once a bright pupil and they only noticed strange behaviour from him in 2016, when he dropped out of school in his matric year and never went back.

"We are shocked about his behaviour. We don't know the reason behind what he did because it is not in our culture to exhume graves."

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